First, let’s consider the question: Is there such a thing as branding your business too early? I think there is.
• It’s too early if you’re not sure what your business will offer.
• It’s too early if there’s a high chance your business will go in a very different direction 6 months from now.
• And it’s definitely too early if it’s not clear who your target audience is.
So! If there’s such a thing as branding your business too early, then at what point do you know it IS a good time to start investing in your branding? If that’s something you’ve been wondering, here are some good indicators for you to consider!
(By the way, if you’re working on your brand, I think you’ll find a lot of value from my free guide — check it out.)
You know you have a viable business model and you’re ready to grow
Even if your business is still relatively young, if you know you’ve done enough to validate the services you offer then it could be time to go all in. And by validating your services, I generally mean you’ve worked with clients. Enough of them to know you’ve got something that people need and there’s enough demand of it to support your business.
At that point, it becomes a matter of finding ways to attract more potential clients to your business — and this is where branding can be a powerful tool. It helps you establish your professionalism, so you look credible and are taken seriously. It also helps to improve the visibility of your business, by allowing people to familiarise themselves with who you are and what you do as you market your business.
You know who your ideal client is and want to reach them
A key, key part of building a brand is knowing who your audience and ideal clients are. I define your brand as the relationship you build with them. That means, no audience. No brand.
In order to effectively grow your brand, you need to know who you’re growing this relationship with. And not just demographics, like age, gender and where they live. I mean you know what problem they’re struggling with and how you can solve it for them. You know what they want to achieve.
If you know these things, and you’re ready to build that relationship with them — to start conversations and dig deeper into what it’ll take to really help them overcome their obstacles — then I think it’s worth developing your branding, to help you stand out and connect with them.
Related post: Why you need to define your ideal client
You want to grow a community
This one continues on from the last point. Maybe you’ve been growing a business, but you haven’t built much of an audience of people ready to hear from you. When it comes to growing a community, there’s plenty of places you could do it. For example, on Facebook, Instagram or any other social platform. Maybe your email list. Or a physical location! Communities are an excellent way to grow support for what you do, find clients, and discover new ways to serve.
To achieve this, it helps to have a strong, consistent image that people can stand behind. Your logo can become a symbol that helps to unite them. A strong core message helps them recognise your mission. Even through different touchpoints (your website, social media platforms, emails etc) if there’s a visible cohesiveness, it aligns your audience and builds that sense of community.
Related post: How to build a community around your brand
You want to get more out of your marketing
Until you’ve put some good thought and consideration into what your brand stands for, it’s tough to get great results from your marketing efforts. I truly believe branding is the key to making your marketing work harder for your business.
Branding is all about communication, and that doesn’t stop at visual design. It also requires powerful messaging — the words themselves — to convey the value of your business, so you can create marketing that your ideal clients find truly compelling.
Part of developing your brand is defining your core values, your purpose, and your brand personality. With these important foundation pillars, you can put together a brand message that makes a real impact when you use it in your marketing.
Also read: The importance of branding in marketing
You’re tired of battling in the pricing wars
A key reason to develop your branding is to help you differentiate your business from others like it. Are you sick to death of undercutting your prices or haggling with prospects who can’t understand why they should hire you over some other service-provider? Sounds like it’s time to define your brand so you can better showcase the reasons that make your business a perfect fit for your ideal clients.
Again, branding is about communication. By that, i don’t mean it’s just telling your audience about your services. I mean it tells them about the values you stand by. It shows them that you understand what their true desired outcome looks like, and that you have a path to help them achieve it. It expresses what kind of experience you deliver and the type of person who would be a good fit for your services.
When you can communicate those things, it shows your audience that there’s so much more to consider than the price. And when the right person comes along, they can SEE why they should choose you. And they will.
Your brand is such an important asset to your business. I think it’s well worth the investment it can take to define and develop it. And while I also believe you shouldn’t jump in before you’re ready, I also think once you’ve reached a point in your business where you’re ready to grow and take things to the next level, it’s an incredibly important investment to make.
Looking for more content? Try these:
- A complete guide to creating a brand for your small business
- Brand vs brand identity vs logo and which do you need?
- 3 big reasons to brand your service-based business
- Can you have a strong brand even with a small audience?
- 6 visual elements of every well-designed website
- Is your brand remarkable? Tips to make it stand out more